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Datum objave: 23.09.2020

Vienna Opera Ball 2021: Guide and Preparations Under Covid-19

More than any other ball in Wien, the Vienna Opera Ball embodies social traditions of the old Imperial Austria.

Due to the current Covid 19 situation, the Vienna Opera Ball 2021 has been cancelled.

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At the Vienna Opera Ball, the Vienna State Opera is transformed into the world’s most famous ballroom. This ball of balls creates opportunities for encounters between artists, politicians, businesspeople, and ball enthusiasts.

Due to the current Covid 19 situation, the Vienna Opera Ball 2021 has been cancelled.
The calendar of the Viennese ball season is filled with more than 450 balls. The Vienna Opera Ball is the most glamourous of them all, and thanks to TV broadcasting, it reaches an audience of millions at home and abroad. Anyone who cannot celebrate on-site with the 5,150 ball guests can enjoy the opening ceremony, music, dance, and interviews on TV.

High point of the ball season
The Vienna Opera Ball is a big musical celebration at the end of Shrovetide, which combines high culture and entertainment. The committee, consisting of approximately 150 pairs of young men and women in white ball gowns and tails, ensures a glamorous opening of the Opera Ball.

51-hour set-up
For the ball preparations, the Vienna State Opera, which otherwise presents performances daily, halts its performances two evenings before the Opera Ball. The set-up of the audience area in the ballroom is completed in about 30 hours. The seats must be removed and the parquet floor laid, and a sea of flowers is added: 650 arrangements and bouquets of thousands of flowers and plants decorate loges, tables, and walls. Transforming the ballroom back into the opera stage takes a further 21 hours - a marathon job for more than 500 people.

Program of the event
20:40: Admission of the ball guests (Note the dress code! Ladies: long evening dress, Gentlemen: black tails)
22:00: Opera Ball opening (duration: approx. 50 minutes):
- Fanfare, Austrian National Anthem, European Anthem
- Procession of the committee of young men and women
- Artistic performances by the Vienna State Opera
- Opening waltzes: The Blue Danube Waltz
24:00: Midnight quadrille
2:00 and 4:00: Quadrille
5.00 End of the Opera Ball
Approximately 150 musicians in eight different areas create a wonderful atmosphere. More up-to-date sounds also supplement the waltzes, and offer a wonderful dancing experience for all tastes into the early hours.

The next Vienna Opera Ball takes place in 2022.
Information, reservations, tickets:

Vienna Opera Ball 2021: Guide and Preparations Under Covid-19

More than any other ball in Wien, the Vienna Opera Ball embodies social traditions of the old Imperial Austria. Not only does the Wiener Opernball constitute Austria’s largest meeting point for art celebrities, entrepreneurs and politicians but attracts celebrities from all over the world. Here is a guide of what to expect, an update on preparations under Covid-19 and how to get tickets for the Vienna Opera Ball 2021.

What Is The Vienna Opera Ball?
Vienna’s ball culture has its roots in the Congress of Vienna of 1814/15. The Vienna Opera Ball started in 1877 but it took Emperor Francis Joseph eight years to finally allow a dancing event to take place in ‘his’ theater.

Usually, the Vienna Opera Ball takes place in the auditorium and stage of the Vienna State Opera on the last Thursday of the carnival season, from 8.00 pm to 5.00 am. In 2020, the opera ball’s theme was Queen Of The Night, in reference to Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. For 2021, the new theme will likely be announced in the late summer of 2020.

Each year, some 5.500 guests attend, among them international film and music stars, from Kim Kardashian and Ornella Muti to Gina Lollobrigida. In fact, many of the female stars follow invitations by notorious Austrian construction tycoon Richard Lugner, who regularly hits the headlines with his famous guests each January. Also, each year a renown  international designer creates the debutantes’ sparkling tiaras, for example Christian Lacroix, Donatella Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.

A few weeks before the opera ball takes place, Austrian media break the news of key celebrities taking place and which dresses they will wear. In the run up to the event, the Opera Ball committee and its jury also select the ball debutants: only those with the best Vienna waltz dancing skills make it, including impeccable left waltz.
The Ball Programme
To kick off the Opera ball, around 300 young debutants in white ball gowns and tuxedos promenade into the ball arena and waltz off into the evening.
If you love top classical music you will be pleased that the  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, lead by a top conductor, provides the music to Opernball. After the debutants have finished, the master of ceremony announces: Alles Walzer! (All waltz!). When you hear this and Johann Strauss’ waltz music ‘On The Beautiful Blue Danube’, you know that you are allowed to enter the dance floor.

Throughout the night you will see various interludes featuring top sopranos and ballet dancers. Not least for this reason the Opernball is also popular with not-that-keen dancers.

The traditional quadrille dancing takes places three times during the evening: at midnight and 4.00am (Fledermaus quadrille by Johann Strauss) and at 2am (Orpheus quadrille by Johann Strauss). When you hear the Fledermaus quadrille, it’s time to start packing your things…
Will you see celebrities? Definitely. Among the ball regulars you will find the Austrian President of State and other top ranking politicians, alongside business people from all over the world, former Bond girls, actors and beauty queens. Almost ritually, they would reside in the top boxes, from where they watch the waltz dancing crowd in the main area – while dozens of TV cameras film them from the opposite boxes.

What kind of insight will you get into Viennese ball culture? Surely the Vienna Opera Ball is one of our top ‘social business cards’, and therefore an impeccably run top notch event. Whereas ball traditions are similar to those of other Vienna balls, you’ll just get more media and celebrities.

When Is The Next Vienna Opera Ball?
As of June 2020, the next Vienna Opera Ball is scheduled to take place on 11th February 2021. While the opera ball committee has started work on essentials preparations, it remains to be seen in which setting the opera ball will take place in order to comply with Covid-19 health and safety regulations. Please bookmark this post to stay up-to-date.
How To Attend the Vienna Opera Ball
You can order tickets for the Vienna Opera Ball 2021 from the Vienna State Opera by emailing reservierungen(at)  If you are not successful, email me at barbara.cacao(at)

Dress code: Ladies: long evening gown (pick an outstanding one if you want to get on TV); Gentlemen: tailcoat (compulsory)

Official prices: The ordinary entrance fee is EUR 315. Additional table and box tickets for various categories range from EUR 210 (two people sharing table in 6th floor; a table for four costs EUR 840) to a whopping EUR 23,600 (double stage boxes or side levels boxes).

Visit the Opera Ball Rehearsal
On the day before the ball, the public can attend the opera ball rehearsal to get an impression of the show at a fraction of the cost of an opera ball ticket. Entrance fees are EUR 30 to 60 for a seating ticket, and as little as EUR 25 for a standing ticket.

Make sure you secure a hotel room as soon as you get your Vienna Opera Ball tickets confirmed. Travellers love the carnival season in Vienna and snap up the best places months in advance. Here are some of the best hotels within a mile of the Vienna State Opera.
The Opernball
Vienna has more balls than the equipment room at Wimbledon, but the most prestigious is surely the Wiener Opernball (Vienna Opera Ball) at the State Opera House
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Austrian Government Cancels Wiener Opernball

The Austrian government has announced that it has canceled the traditional Wiener Opernball.

Per the official statement of the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, the Government has decided to cancel the Opernball due to the heightened COVID-19 risk.
“It would be irresponsible to organize the Opernball in a usual way,” Kurz stated. “The fact that the festivals and celebrations are the places of contagion prompted us to cancel the event,” added the Austrian Chancellor.

Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler added that the Austrian government is very well aware of the social and economic importance of such events beyond Austria’s borders, but that protecting health must be a priority.

“The Wiener Staatsoper and other cultural institutions have put enormous amount of energy into the security concepts, and we are concentrating all our efforts supporting them and keeping the cultural scene as safe as possible,” Kogler noted.

The General Manager of the Wiener Staatsoper Bogdan Roščić said that he regretted the decision. However, Roščić welcomed the early decision about the cancellation.

“Equally important for the State Opera is the promise by the State Secretary Andrea Mayer that the owner will cover the loss of income. We all hope that we will reunite in February 2022 for a brilliant opera ball,” concluded Roščić.

Dejan Vukosavljevic

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